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Rosa Parks Attacker Sentenced to Prison

August 8, 1995 GMT

DETROIT (AP) _ The man who assaulted civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks after breaking into her home was sentenced Monday to eight to 15 years in prison.

Joseph Skipper, 28, pleaded guilty earlier this year to assault and robbery stemming from the incident against Parks and two other elderly women. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped three other breaking-and-entering charges.

Skipper broke into Parks’ home last August, hit her on the face and robbed her of $50. Parks, 82, was treated at a hospital and released.

At his sentencing before Recorder’s Court Judge Dalton Roberson, Skipper apologized and said he committed the robberies to feed a drug addiction.

Parks said Monday she hoped Skipper would get treatment.

``I’m sorry that he is going to add to the prison roll. But I was hoping that there would be some way that if he’d be willing to get a treatment or whatever he needs to rehabilitate himself,″ she said.

Parks is credited with helping launch the modern civil rights movement for her refusal in 1955 to surrender her seat to a white man on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Ala. Her arrest triggered a boycott led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who was then a local minister.

Parks left her home after the assault and moved into a high-rise apartment building.